Stephen Jones had been sleeping in the streets just outside the Manchester Arena, when the bomb exploded, sending glass and nails into the bodies of innocent children and their parents.
As soon as he realized what was happening, he rushed towards the blast.
Without hesitation, the homeless man raced into the lobby of the Arena and was stunned by the devastation that surrounded him. He watched in horror as children covered in blood raced out of the arena, behind them lay the 'lifeless' bodies and 'hysterical' mothers.
He immediately went to work. Kneeling down next to injured children, he wiped the blood from their eyes, then he extracted nails and shards glass from their faces and arms.
"It was a lot of children with blood all over them – crying and screaming. We were having to pull nails out of their arms and a couple out of this little girl’s face," he told ITV news.
"We haven't slept most of the night because of what we've seen."
His short interview in the aftermath went viral and soon others were reaching out to Jones in a way he didn't expect...
One Good Deed Deserves Another
Graeme Seddon was deeply moved by Stephen Jones' heroic actions. After watching the interview, he decided to start a JustGiving crowd funding page to help Jones "get back on his feet."
His fundraising goal of a modest £300 quickly exploded when others got wind of the campaign. Thousands of supporters have contributed over £34,000 to the homeless hero - 11,464% above Seddon's original target!
Jones, a 35-year-old former bricklayer, had been living on the street when he heard the explosion around 10:30 p.m. When he saw injured children rushing from the scene, he knew he couldn't walk away.
“It had to be done, you had to help, if I didn’t help I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that,” he told ITV.
His heroic actions that day were also noticed by West Ham United Football Club co-chairman, David Sullivan and his son, David Sullivan Jr.
The elder Sullivan appealed to listeners of BBC Radio 5 Live to help him locate Stephen.
“It looks like he needs some help, so we are desperate to find who he is and give him six months’ free accommodation and a little bit of money to help him on his way.”
The wealthy father and son Tweeted out a series of messages hoping that someone could help them find Jones:
Within hours, they had located Jones and made their offer in person. Now that they have met, the Sullivans are working with a local charity to fund a life-changing move for the hero.
WE HAVE FOUND STEVE ! Shows the power for good social media has. Thank you to all those involved, you have helped change a mans life ❤️— DAVE SULLIVAN JNR (@DaveSulley) May 23, 2017
The homeless man with a heart, a hero for many, now finally has a chance to start again. With the help of thousands of others who saw beyond his rough exterior, Stephen Jones can begin anew.